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Economists Behaving Badly

That's the title of a paper on economists that publish in predatory journals, published by Wallace and Perry last year and available here. In the abstract they suggest that "A surprising number of authors who are in the RePEc top 5% also published in predatory journals in 2015." 39 journals of the more than 1600 in RePEc are considered predatory, by the way. I don't have the list, but acceptance rates seem pertinent for a discussion of predatory behavior. The authors say in that regard:
Acceptance rates are not available on the homepage for most of the journals in the data set. Just a third of the thirty-nine journals report acceptance rates, and these range from 5% to 62% for 2015. The six journals that report rates between 5% and 25% provide no supporting data. Six others show data on submissions and acceptances on their homepages allowing calculation of acceptance rates that range from 39% to 61%. The other journal reports a 62% rate but no other data are provided.
The interesting part is the number of top publishers (I guess that's one measure of productivity) that do publish in predatory journals. Again from the paper:
The surprise from the data is the large number of highly experienced authors with publications in predatory journals. As previously noted, twenty-seven registered authors are top 5% authors in RePEc. These top 5% authors have 2120 total publications, a mean of 79 publications per author, of which 104, or 4.9%, are in predatory journals.
My guess is that's by mistake. They get an invitation to publish and they do not do the homework on the journal. But, of course, I might be wrong.


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